In 454 BC the Athenian-led Delian League lost a fleet in an unsuccessfull attempt to aid an Egyptian revolt against Persia. Over the next three years, Athens also failed to capture Pharsalus in Thessaly, as well as Sicyon and Oeniadae, all of which were allies of the Spartan-led Peloponnesian League. In 451 BC Athens concluded a five-year truce with Sparta.
With a reprieve from warfare in Greece, Athens decided to send a naval expedition of 200 ships to Cyprus, led by Cimon. They first stopped at Egypt to try to help the revolt there, but Cimon died on the way and the fleet continued to Cyprus. A fleet consisting of Phoenicians, Cyprians, and Cilicians met the Athenians at sea, while an Athenian landing party also fought the Cyprians outside Salamis, with an Athenian victory in each battle.
The Athenians did not take advantage of their victory; instead, they simply returned home, where they found that Sparta had taken over the temple at Delphi, and that the Boeotians were beginning to revolt against Athenian rule. This revolt led to the Battle of Coronea in 447 BC.